Oklahoma and Texas have a fascinating, and sometimes overlapping, history. Nowadays, the two states share a bit of a neighborly rivalry. While anyone from either state will tell you that they couldn't be any more different if they tried, outsiders often lump us all together. This has led many to wonder if there are any differences in how Texans and Okies talk. Yes, there are interlopers out there who wonder if we all have the same accent.
The answer is complicated.
Going Down The Internet Rabbit Hole Of Oklahoma And Texas Accents
I'm no linguist, and I'm definitely not an expert in regional dialects. I know that people all over the South say "y'all" and there are a lot of similarities in how many of us talk. That doesn't mean that we all sound the same.
Doing some digging, I came across several long-winded articles, essays, and academic message board threads on the issue. It turns out that there is a very technical answer to all of this. According to the Atlas Of North American English, we share a version of the southern dialect called inland south. Oklahoma also features the midland dialect, while Texas also includes the lowland south dialect.
That doesn't mean we sound the same, even though we have something in common.
The Differences Between A Texas Accent And An Oklahoma Accent
It has been mentioned in some academic circles, that could be focused on ending world hunger but got caught up on this topic, that there are some slight distinctions to the dialects found in Texas and Oklahoma.
For instance, the Oklahoma accent tends to be more nasal than the Texas accent. Take for instance the word, oil. In Oklahoma, it is more likely to be pronounced "ol". Texas is rumored to have more of a twangy drawl.
I'm not sure I buy it, but that's what these academics are selling.
Things Get More Complicated In Texas
Texas is so insanely big, that you also have to take into account the fact that there are many different "accents" across the state. Someone from the panhandle won't have the same accent as someone from the deep southern portions or far eastern portions of the state. Texas is a melting pot of drawls and words running together all of its own.
I digress. To answer the original question of whether or not Okies and Texans sound alike, I suppose you could say both yes, and no.
CHECK IT OUT: 20 Things Us Texans Have To Explain To Out-Of-Town'ers
5 Things People From Oklahoma Think About People From Texas
Gallery Credit: Charlie Hardin
Texas State Symbols: Weird, Wacky & Absolutely Perfect Signs of Our State
Gallery Credit: Renee Raven